Over on the “California Fleeing” article posted by AWD, I took a few pings for not writing off California as a failed state just yet and pointing to California’s geographic location and its abundance of natural resources. Those pings ticked me off, so I guess I’ll have to give you Doom and Gloomers a reality check. Here goes.
California is the nation’s #2 producer of commercial seafood, after Louisiana.
California is the nation’s #3 producer of commercial timber, after Washington and Oregon.
California is the nation’s LEADING producer of commercial hard minerals, including silver, copper (yes, copper – not Montana or Arizona, but California), manganese, tungsten, and uranium. If you throw in the value of oil and natural gas production to the mineral mix, it still ranks #3 behind Texas and Louisiana.
California has the greatest variety of minerals to be found anywhere in the U.S., with 39 minerals of commercial value found ONLY in California. Think Rare Earth minerals for starters, because your laptops, iPads, and smart phones wouldn’t work without them.
California ranks #1 in the U.S. for tourist visits and tourism dollars. “Hey, SSS,” you might ask, “what does tourism have to do with location and natural resources?” “How about its climate, beaches, Yosemite National Park, the Sierra Nevada mountains, Lake Tahoe, Redwood forests, Sequoia National Forest, and Death Valley for starters,” I would answer. Places like Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, ski areas, sports tournaments, zoos, Hollywood movie set tours, and world class resorts don’t hurt, of course.
I saved the best for last. Do you like to eat? Well, do you, punk?
California is the #1 farming state in the U.S., by a country mile. It is the #5 supplier of food on the entire fucking planet. It produces 50% (!!!!) of U.S. grown fruits and vegetables, and get this, it is the #1 producer of dairy products – milk, cream, ice cream, and cheese – in the nation. Not Wisconsin, amigos, California.
As for so-called “specialty foods,” no other state comes close to California. The list is long: almonds, artichokes (mmm, tasty), avocados, figs, olives, pistachios, plums/prunes, pomegranites, raisins, and walnuts, just to name a few. All of this enormous agricultural activity is made possible by California’s unique location and its wide variety of climates and soils.
Here’s my bottom line. Even a long, recent string of extremely liberal governments in Sacramento has been unable to destroy this wealth of natural resources which sustains California even today. Not that the liberal left in that goofy state isn’t trying. And I certainly don’t dismiss some critical issues California faces, with water and energy production at the top of the list.
But, for the above reasons mentioned, I wouldn’t write off California just yet. Mother Nature has blessed that state many times over. Too bad the majority of voters there don’t appreciate it, or even realize it.
Actual photo of SSS, TBP’s lead investigative reporter who smugly dismisses his detractors.